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February 2012

posted 4 Mar 2012, 08:50 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 4 Mar 2012, 08:57 ]
What a month of contrasting weather! February started with temperatures well below freezing and it felt as though winter had finally arrived. The ground was frozen with icy conditions underfoot and daytime temperatures struggled to get above freezing. Spare a thought for the wildlife trying to cope in such conditions. This cold weather culminated with the first snow of 2012 and gave rise to some very wintery, but beautiful, scenes of the Green.
Snow on Pipe Green

The snow did not last for long and by the end of the month we were basking in temperatures in the mid-teens and a feeling that spring was imminent. The wildlife on the Green was also showing signs that spring was fast approaching. Our winter bird visitors, including redwing, fieldfare and siskin have now left the Green and most likely have started their northwards journey back to their breeding grounds in Scandinavia.
Stream with watercress starting to grow

The buzzards have frequently been seen displaying over the Green. Three or more can be seen at any one time, soaring overhead whilst making their distinctive mewing call. A kingfisher has also been a regular visitor in February on the pools near Leomansley House. Whether it will stay in the area, remains to be seen.

We can now look forward to the arrival of the summer bird migrants. So keep your ears open for the distinctive call of the chiffchaff, which will hopefully arrive on the Green at the end of March. I also saw my first bumblebee of the Green last week, so maybe spring is not so far away!